His Last Run
New York City, 1934
He was preparing to let his next patient in when Carl, his right hand man, burst inside his clinic’s office with a desperate expression on his rugged face. Dread washed over him when he took in his friend’s appearance.
Carl wasn’t a youngster― a man in his early fifties― he had a stern face and almost killer dark eyes. His stoic, serious expression was a permanent trait of him but now his eyes were wild and afraid... Something nothing like him.
“What happened?” His green eyes briefly glanced to his wife’s picture over his desk. She smiled reassuringly at him in the black and white image.
“Smith betrayed us. The leech sent the ‘coppers’ after us and they swarmed the warehouse with guns blazing. Most of the boys are dead but a few survived and I sent them into hiding,” Carl whispered, trying to catch his breath while tightening his hold on the Tommy Gun under his trench coat. “A few ‘coppers’ are tailing me so we need to disappear quickly.”
“Leah must be escorted out of the city,” the Doctor said, taking off his white coat and putting on the gray suit jacket. He went to the door and called his secretary over.
“Don’t worry, boss. Mickey is taking care of Miss Caster.”
A soft knock sounded on the door before a petite blond in her early twenties shyly entered the room.
Her green eyed employer ordered her to cancel the remaining appointments and close the clinic once she dispatched the patients. She almost asked him about the reason but one look at his grim face and the serious expression of his companion told her to keep her mouth shut, out of men businesses.
After she was ushered out, the Doctor took out his 1911′s Colt pistol from a hidden compartment at his desk and hid it inside his jacket, grabbed his bag, put on his hat and rushed out of the office, followed closely behind by Carl.
It felt like yesterday when he took on his father’s mantle and opened his medical office as a cover up for his businesses. Ten years! Ten years of beatings, assassinations, blackmailing, alcohol and weapons dealing, and so much more to maintain his father’s... no, HIS fucking empire just to be stabbed in the back by one of his most trusted men! A man that had mourned by his side and helped him avenge his father’s death. The outrageousness of it all boiled the blood under his skin.
He vowed to kill the bastard, slowly and without mercy. No one messed with Erik Caster, “The Doctor”, and lived to tell the tale.
Once they took a step over the busy main street, police officers came running from the left side, their guns at the ready.
“It’s been a pleasure, Erik. Take care,” Carl whispered before he pushed him into the fleeing crowd and uncovered his Thompson from under his coat to shoot at the officers.
The Doctor ran, blending into the crowd, hearing how they gunned down his last remaining friend like he was some animal on the street. Only when he found himself at a safe distance did he slowed down to a walk and dared to glance back. The already gathering crowd made it impossible to check on his partner but even so his jaw and fists clenched as his eyes misted over. “Thanks, old friend. Let us meet in Hell.” Crossing himself, he offered a small prayer for Carl to find a quick death while he rounded a corner and continued down the sidewalk at a steady pace.
The sun had started to descend when he walked by the employment offices, the line of people waiting was still enormous― even with nightfall approaching.
Since the depression started back in 1929 people of all races and statuses had been losing more than just their jobs. Poverty and hunger ran rampart in the Big Apple so the huge waiting lines were a common sight. People did anything for the slim chance of finding a job that allowed them to put bread over their table; some even slept in the sidewalk, guarding their place in the line and hoping to steal the spot of the ones that went home.
Most of the last boys he recruited had come from such endless lines where desperation grew and hope diminished with each passing day. Boys that must likely where all dead thanks to Smith.
“Excuse me, sir,” some guy called him from ahead. “Have some spare coins to buy bread? My wife’s with child and you see... I promise her some’ to eat when I returned home,” the black male begged, reaching out to him.
Erik halted and swatted the man’s hand before it could touch him. “Don’t you dare lay a finger on me.” His voice dripped hatred and anger, making the others step farther away from the African American. “Here. For your pitiful woman.” He threw a couple of coins to the man and quickly marched away. It would be unwise to cause more commotion since the government used police officers to patrol the lines.
Damn fool, trying to touch me. He and all his people should be thrown out from our country!
He gritted his teeth remembering his mother’s screams when a black scumbag had tried to rape her on a chilly winter’s night. Luckily for her, he was beside her to stop the heinous act. That night, the hands of a twelve year old boy were stained red with the blood of his first victim. That night his father’s racist words― as his mother used to call them― had been proven right. Black people became thugs and rapists in his eyes.
Time ran as he walked New York City, evading the main streets and taking dark alleyways as shortcuts.
Nightfall had already arrived when a flash of white caught his attention. He glanced around but only found darkness and the stench of rotting garbage over the alley’s floor.
A feminine voice called him, making him twirl around and face the way he came.
There was nothing besides an old pipe leaking over the building’s emergency staircase. Every loud water drop seemed to match his heartbeats.
Time slowed down as he waited for the voice to speak again but he received something different instead. While he waited with his body tense, hands itching for his Colt, someone breathed against the back of his neck and knocked down his hat.
His hand shook frightened as he grabbed his gun from the inner pocket if his jacket. Incoherent thoughts passed through his mind but one thing got stuck inside his head: cold breath.
Icy cold breath.
How could someone get so chilly during a midsummer warm night? He could feel the heat coming off the ground after a sunny and cloudless day so it wasn’t logical...
This time when the voice called him again he just twirled around and fired his 1911′s Colt pistol. Three bullets hit the pale flesh of a gorgeous woman with long white hair and intense, almost glowing golden eyes. She touched her chest, fingers quickly covering in red, and smirked at him before her voice sounded inside his head.
You missed me, darling.
Her image blurred and vanished, like something out of a dream, leaving a bleeding policeman in her stead. The guy widened his eyes and tried to reach for his gun but it was too late. He slumped to the floor just as a woman from across the street started screaming for help.
Erik stood there, his mind trying to wrap around what had just happened. If he shot at a fair woman then why was a copper the one dying from bullet wounds? It didn’t make any sense!
You have to move, Erik. The ‘dick’ coming will not miss like you did with me.
The fair woman’s voice sang inside his head. He tried to follow her advice but his feet were rooted in place, denying him his escape. “I can’t move,” he grunted in response to her mental urge.
Her laugh echoed inside him a moment before delicate yet strong hands pushed him forward. That was all he needed. One moment he was frozen from shock and the other he was moving, jumping over the dead policeman and running away.
The loud bangs of gunshots reached his ears and bullets graced his left cheek, warmness rolling down in seconds. Erik quickly threw his right arm backwards and shot blindly trying to find a good place to cover.
A second spray of bullets rained down on him and he hissed when one hit him over the kidney. Pain shot through his nervous system as fire seemed to burn his veins, making him stumble but he managed to roll and hid behind the stone stairs of an elegant house. Blood had already soaked his waist’s left side.
Grunting with another wave of pain, the Doctor peeped carefully around the stone wall. A detective and one police officer came running as they recharged their weapons; which― thanks to the Almighty God― weren’t semi-automatic.
Taking the opportunity, Erik aimed to the running policeman and fired his Colt until the gun was empty. Return fire quickly followed but his strategy was successful. As mister dick remained behind trying to save his companion from four holes in his chest, he left the stairs’ cover to limp away, escaping inside the darkness of another alley.
Time passed. Minutes became hours, hours became days inside his feverish mind. He felt he’d been walking forever but even playing with unconsciousness his mind knew it to be just a square.
If only he could get to the Bronx. If only he could see his Leah one last time... But who was he kidding? He was bleeding to death. Every step he took was heavier and harder to make than the last. His body already wanted to let go but he continued to push himself, trying in vain to reach the wife he would never see again.
Erik’s knees gave in, making him fall to the humid ground. Weakness and blood lost robbing him of his ability to stand up.
He slowly lifted his head to the moon that shined proudly over his head, letting a lonely tear roll down his injured cheek.
“I’m so sorry, Leah,” he whispered to his silvery witness as cold slowly took hold of his body.
Suddenly, the sound of feet scraping the dirt echoed around him. A black man stumbled with his leg... wait, no... the same scumbag who asked him for a coin was now laughing at his state and insulting him, obviously drunk.
“Whos the pitiful now?” the man slurred, kicking him on his wounded side and taking out a pocket knife from his pants. “Maybe s-shou end you’misery.”
The Doctor smiled weakly, taunting the African American to finish him. His assailant cursed him and moved to kill.
Out of the blue, pale hands grabbed the bastard’s shoulders and ripped his jugular open, blood spurting out in a gruesome way.
Erik’s eyes went to his savior and would have laughed had he possessed some strength left. The golden eyed woman stood before him. Her beautiful features were marred by fresh blood staining her lips and the canine looking fangs over which she was passing her tongue.
She spoke something in an exotic language and a young boy― with her same golden eyes and white hair― appeared beside her. The child smiled, showing him tips of pointy fangs, and jumped over the black scumbag’s ripped throat; slurping sounds told him the blood was being drunk.
The Doctor’s eyes widen and he tried to cross himself but his body wasn’t obeying him anymore. “W-what do you want, demon?” he asked her in a soft whisper.
Her eyes got brighter and in a split second she was an inch away from his face. “Oh but I’m not any regular demon, I’m what you would call a vampire. One that can give you a second chance to see your wife, avenge your death and escape the tortures of Hell forever; all in exchange for guarding my son and seeing he doesn’t get into too much trouble,” she whispered, brushing some brown bangs out of his face and peered into his bright green eyes. “Fair deal, don’t you think, Erik? You only have to say yes... but decide fast for I cannot turn the dead.”
He held her gaze. The gold in them appeared to be liquid, more supernatural than human.
Erik had long ago ceased to call himself a human being, preferring monster instead. So what did he have to lose? His soul was lost anyways... And her offer sounded so appealing. I could make Smith pay for his betrayal, have some fun torturing him until he begs me for mercy... My soul in exchange for revenge and a second opportunity at life? You can have it, lady.
The vampire smirked, bit her wrist and offered it to him. “Drink. I don’t need to drain you because you have lost a lot of blood,” she urged, pushing her bloody arm against his lips.
Her last words echoed inside his head as he put his lips over her soft, cold skin and drank her blood. Fighting the sudden urge to throw up, he managed to swallow enough of the black liquid before she parted from him.
“Sleep, Erik, sleep.”
He frowned at the command but pain racked his body, taking all thoughts with it. Fire spread quickly inside him, burning all in its path and making his vision fill with black dots. He tried to breathe, call for the vampire’s help but couldn’t, all his organs were shutting down. He was dying. As his vision blackened and his heart gave its lasts beats, Erik screamed in pain before growing quiet; the light escaping his eyes.
Luzbel sat with her child in her lap, waiting for Erik to awaken. Lucian was fascinated with the whole process since he had never seen a fledgling’s birth.
She embraced her little boy as he asked her question after question without taking his eyes from his new guard. Just as Lucian was pointing out that the newest family addition already looked like them, Erik opened his clear green eyes.
“Happy birthday, Erik Caster!” Lucian exclaimed before she could stop him. The little one jumped over the bed, embraced the fledgling and then flashed himself to the door, jumping excitedly.
Luzbel told her son to wait and smiled warmly to the man in the bed. “You must be thirsty. Come, I’ll teach to hunt and guide you through all the changes,” she said extending her hand to him, her smile never wavering.
“My skin is gray and I have black claws,” he murmured, looking confused.
“You’ll be able to turn them human-like with practice.” Sensing his inner struggle she came closer and caressed his face. “You’re my first so I’ll take good care of you. Welcome to the undead, Erik.” This time her smile came from the bottom of her dead heart.
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